THE NIGHT I LEARNED HOW TO CHEER AGAINST LEBRON

3/21/21

Jay C. Brandriet

Do you remember the hype LeBron James had coming out of high school? If you consider where the world of technology was in the early 2000’s, he had the “highest expectations ever.” It was like Zion Williamson times five.

I believed LeBron would live up to the noise.

I think back to his first regular season game at Sacramento. This was not a publicity stunt. This was “King James.”

I rooted for Magic, Kobe, and MJ. My buddy Russ Riggs did not. Russ loved LeBron’s unselfish play right out of the gates. By the end of LeBron’s second season, Riggs was now treating LBJ as a weapon to use against me in arguments. Naturally, I started to develop some push back against the young phenom.

It was January 16th, 2005. James and his Cavaliers were playing the Supersonics in Seattle. Late in the game, LeBron missed a deep two point shot. I let out a huge cheer, and clapped my hands together a few times. I stopped right away and caught myself in a moment of clarity,

I thought, “If I’m going to get caught up cheering against THIS GUY in random regular season games, it’s going to be a painful NBA life.”

You can cheer against LeBron in an overall form, and hope to get lucky.

Wishing for James failure on a game at a time scale, is like swimming on the sidewalk. You’re not going to have much fun, and you’re not going to go very far.

To go against him, is to feel how intimidating he is. Those expectations he had? They’ve been shattered.

To pull a Skip Bayless, and fully invest against LeBron would be exhausting. It would bring you some sports anxiety, to go with your high television ratings,

You have to pick your spots.

I’ll always remember the night I learned how to cheer against LeBron.

Jay C. Brandriet


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